The Shadows That Linger (March 17, 2021)
Link to product website
Link to playable game on Itch.io

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The Lost Spirit
The Lost Spirit

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Front Yard

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In this spiritual mystery game, solve your sister's murder by

channeling your crystal ball to learn from ethereal shadows.

My roles: Game Designer / Producer

My responsibilities include:

  • Designing clue systems and thematically immersive features such as:

    • Shadow Vision - a cursor-proximity-based clue-searching mechanic that highlights hidden items with spiritual connections. I designed it this way because my goal was to create a clue system that feels unique for a mystery game while still being understandable for players, and that is challenging but also supports the narrative. The challenge of working with this mechanic gave me more experience in a holistic design process

    • Shadow Dialogue - an interrogative ability that allows you to perceive the true forms of characters' shadows which possess their darkest secrets. This feature's design required much iteration because I had to make it easy enough to use while also balancing its involvement in the energy system as well as progressing the narrative. I ended up turning this ability into a unique dialogue option in conversations, lowering the energy cost of its usage, and making its function be to hint at lies told by the characters

  • Managing and updating the game design document

  • Holding the game's vision and effectively communicating it to my teammates:

    • I helped the team transition to total online communication as we are now working remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For a year now, I've been holding our meetings via Zoom and ensuring the team messages each other more frequently on Slack

  • Making design adjustments based off playtester feedback:

    • For example, after hearing from our playtesters that the game's dialogue format was too confusing, I improved the structure by designing a conversation "home screen" that divides the player's responses into 3 organized categories of conversation topics (clues, personal life, & the victim), each of which holds the player's related dialogue options. We have received better feedback on the format since

  • Overseeing and working together with a 10-person team

    • Conducting frequent team meetings

    • Facilitating and ensuring communication between different team divisions (e.g. narrative team & programming team, or art team & audio team)

    • Assigning tasks to teammates of various disciplines

    • Monitoring project development and analyzing weekly Sprint Reports

Accomplishments:

  • Demoed at GDEX's 2020 Exhibitor Showcase

  • Successfully pitched game at the IU Media School's Shark Tank game design pitch competition (2019) to a panel of game industry veterans (Paul Stephanouk, Dave Rohrl, and Ray Holmes) and IU's Game Design department faculty, receiving approval to continue our project into development

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The Widower (2019)
Link to playable prototype

In this choose-your-own-adventure thriller game, unravel alternate realities to unmask an evil entity.

My role: Solo Developer

My responsibilities:

  • Designed a "reverse-branching narrative" where the player's choices alter characters' backstories, which are revealed through 8 different endings:
    • Depending on your choices, the ominous "Widower" takes on a unique form such as a masked killer, a demon, or a family member. Even the player character can turn out to be The Widower

  • Created adaptive music that layers with each of the player's possible choices:
    • My goal was to create a more immersive experience by having the tone build as the player progresses through the different story paths

  • Edited sound effects to build a suspenseful atmosphere
  • Designed UI of text layout and buttons
  • Programmed different game controls options
  • Built versions in separate game engines (Unity and Construct 3)